Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Power to Reform State Government . . .

. . . has always resided with the governor, via the governor's power over the budget, as explained by E. J. McMahon in his City Journal article "The Bucks Stop Here." So with every governor we've had within recent memory pledging to reform New York, why has reform not happened?

It is probably because real reform requires telling special interest groups "No, you can't have that anymore." Most politicians won't do that because it opens themselves up to criticism. . . which could lead to loss of popular support . . . no re-election . . . and an end to a political career.

Instead of reform, we get finger pointing at a dysfunctional state legislature to deflect from the responsible party.

But the responsible party is the governor.

Who among the current crop of candidates will have the guts to use the extraordinary powers of the governorship to institute real reform?  Certainly not an Attorney General who failed to enforce state tax laws against New York's Indian Nations.  Who is willing to use the budget power?


Dave said...

Forgive me, but that seems rather simplistic. It doesn't account for politics and a host of other forces acting on a governor. Right seldom makes might.

Ryan said...

^ Yea lets not forget that a big part of reform in New York is Medicaid and social services. Not to be overly simplistic as well but its a giant circle as we go broke paying for those items and then we all need those items which continue to keep us broke.

When it comes to many of these issues the question isn't what are you going to do but what CAN you do? And the answer cannot be leave a bunch of New Yorkers living on the street.